Publishing comics can both be done in print and online. Publishing your work and getting noticed by the world brings extreme pride to a comic artist. However, you have to be fiercely talented to get attention in the comic world because there are thousands of others that may be more talented than you are. Many comic artists have tried getting their work published, but to no avail. As a beginner, you should know the steps to take in order to start a comic publishing career, which will allow you to make money if you get lucky enough.
In this section, we are going to go through the options (or formats) that are available for publishing, as well as the things that you should really consider before you even start the process of publishing your comics. It is important that you read through everything before you take the step to publish you own comic book.
What we are not going to go through are the steps that come before you publish your comic. Things such as comic panel size, cover title placing, coloring…etc – which are all important as far as publishing is concerned but most of these topics have already been covered (See Basics and Step-by-Step). These are the things that need to be thought out and decided on before you come to this page or conclude to publishing.
When it comes to committing financially to the publishing of your very own comic work, a lot of us tend to be either very naive or very careful. Naturally, people want to get the best out of their buck and in publishing (and almost everything else), the best way to start is to know what is necessary to get to what you want or in simpler terms: plan it out. Decide on how you will publish you comic work. Online or offline.
If your budget does not allow you to publish your comic in print or extensively, do not push it. There are other alternatives, other ways that you could take is just as effective and at times much cheaper than your initial plan. If you are working on a limited budget, the best approach would be to look at cheaper, cost-effective options. You could learn more on how to manage your budget and get the most from your budget over at our Reputation, Marketing and Comic Sales section – click here.
Print Vs Online (Digital)
Publishing comics can both be done in prints and online. Both are good options , but each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Publishing comics online gives you the possibility of a broader audience than publishing in the printing world. Publishing online eliminates the cost of printing, which is usually the largest expense for conventional publishers. It also helps you jump-start your career and create a market for printed publishing. Of course, online comic publishing will not generate much money, but it can actually make your work popular enough to generate sales in printed publishing.
Many popular comic artists who started online have made a successful career in printed publishing. If you have decided to publish your work online, you can start with creating your own blog or website and then posting your comic stories there. To advertise your comic work, you can visit comic-related forums and promote them there to generate traffic to your blog or website. If you do not like the idea of starting from scratch and making your own blog or website, you can submit your work to a ‘webcomic’ site that publishes comic strips of deserving comic artists. This however does not guarantee you that your submitted work will get published. If your work gets picked for online publishing, you will be paid according to the number of views your comic work generates, or the number of user downloads, depending on ‘webcomic’ site that you choose. This however does not guarantee you that your submitted work will get published. If your work gets picked for online publishing, you will be paid according to the number of views your comic work generates, or the amount of user downloads, depending on online publisher site that you choose.
Pros and cons
- Digital copy of the book.
- Can only be read through electronics with internet access such as smart phones, tablets, PC, or laptops.
- Has wide audience and accessibility because of the internet (which actually gives you international audience-millions of people).
- Cheap and cost effective.
- Needs blogs or websites for comic updates as well as store platform.
- Has more versatility in timing when you want to publish your comic work.
- No physical value.
- Most of the works are done digitally, so extra safety measure should be taken in case your computer decides to die (depending on the problems, Yes…your computer can go “kaput”) or malfunction.When this happens, there is a chance that your comic works that you store in them could be gone too. Create backup in external hard drive for precautionary measures.
That is pretty much how it is with publishing online.Now, we have already covered what you are going to need in creating your very own comic (Basics),which includes a PC or laptop.Nowadays, a PC or a laptop is really an essential part of comic making because it can make things more manageable and easier (especially if you are doing all this by yourself). If you plan on publishing online, then having a PC or a laptop is a must.
Now before we proceed with conventional printing, lets go through the most common ways one can self publish their own comic online.
Webcomic (Online Comic)
If you are into making comic strips (with format similar to comics like Peanuts or Garfield) or mini comics (several pages instead of a full over 20 pages issue) then you might want to consider making webcomics. Online comic strips usually takes around three to six panels and at time, more than that. This usually revolves around a group of recurring characters that appear on most of the comic strips and have theme that ranges from comedy, dark humor, and….well, everything else.There really is no limit to what you want to tell on your comic strip but make sure to it clear about it by writing a short post which comes with the comic strip and be consistent with your art style.Consistency in your art style is essential mainly because it creates recognizablity so that your readers can be familiar with your work as you continue putting out your comic strips online.Making full use of the social media also increases the traffic or number of people to your comic website and instantly get the attention of people from around the world.
Webcomics like Happletea.com or Twogag.com good example of online comic strips.They regularly update their webcomic at least twice a week and have a strong following (Facebook, twitter) and solid reputation online.For anyone who would like to start an online comic strip, their standard is something you should look up to.
Digital Comic Book and Graphic Novels
Per issue comic, usually around 22 to 24 pages or graphic novel and is pretty much digital version of a printed comic book.It is advisable to form your own company for your comic before you decide to send your comic to publish or sell your comic online.By having a company profile, you have a solid business background for anyone to contact you or looking to work with you.Once you are done editing and put together the comic pages, you can send your completed comic to online distributor sites like Comixology Submit, IVerse, or Graphicly.Each online distributors have their own terms and requirement, so be sure to look it up before committing your comic work to them.
Graphic Novels are in a way, several comic issues put together in a single book or comic book that goes for more than 50 pages with (most of the time) a single relatable storyline. In most graphic novels, the storyline begins and ends in the same book.As far as publishing goes, it is pretty much the same process as publishing a standard per-issue comic.
How to Self-Publish Your Own Comic Book by Tony Caputo
First and foremost, this book is not for artists who are only considering self-publishing their work – it’s for people who are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to successfully self-publish or launch their own self-publishing company. Even Jeff Smith (yes, he’s a self-publisher) has used this book and commented that it is “full of very real commercial information.” This book goes into all the information a self-publisher needs to ease through the necessary legal processes involved in self-publishing and starting a publishing company, and teaches us what the author himself took many years to figure out.
How To Self Publish Comics: Not Just Create Them by Josh Blaylock
This book is filled with great little tips throughout the whole thing. It’s not SUPPER detailed, and it’s pretty basic, but I did learn a few things here and there. Any book that teaches me something is worth the read, especially when the cover price is less than $15. Blaylock also has some interesting marketing techniques that I had never thought of, and he provides a good foundation for the businessman/creator relationship (setting up contracts, pay rates, etc). I have recommended this book to others in the past as well. This book is also VERY easy to understand, and can be a fun read in many ways. I found myself not wanting to put it down. This book is worth buying and keeping as a reference.